Listening Local: Take A Sonic Journey With Dub Apocalypse

Playing at The Beach House in North Falmouth on June 28 is Dub Apocalypse featuring (from left) Jeff Lockhart on guitar, Dana Colley on saxophone, Nate Edgar on bass and Johnny Trama on guitar.
COURTESY BEN ALLSUP - Playing at The Beach House in North Falmouth on June 28 is Dub Apocalypse featuring (from left) Jeff Lockhart on guitar, Dana Colley on saxophone, Nate Edgar on bass and Johnny Trama on guitar.

The first time I experienced Dub Apocalypse was at Bull McCabe’s in Somerville. From the parking lot I heard the seriously heavy bass grooves associated with reggae music. The subsonic thump coming through the walls of the bar piqued my interest. Inside, the bar was packed. At first I didn’t see where the huge sound was coming from. I found the band set up in the corner of the room with the crowd pulsating around them. The drummer and bassist were air-tight, without sacrificing any groove. A baritone saxophone player thundered and the guitar player seemed to bridge reggae rhythm with rock, blues and psychedelic styles. If I had to describe the sound in one word it would be hypnotizing. The Apocalypse is coming to Cape Cod. On Saturday, June 28, they will be performing live at The Beach House in North Falmouth.

Dub Apocalypse hails from Boston and is led by two serious players on the scene, guitarist Johnny Trama, also of popular hard rock band Ghosts of Jupiter, and drummer Tommy Benedetti of the international reggae outfit, John Brown’s Body. The rest of the core line are Boston all stars, guitarist Van Gordon Martin and bassist/saxophonist Timo Shanko. Special guest appearances aren’t unusual at Dub Apocalypse shows, including frequent contributor Dana Colley of Morphine. They were named international band of the year at the 2011 Boston Music Awards and one of Improper Bostonian’s “Top Ten Local Acts You Have to Hear Now.”

Tommy Benedetti said their name represents the darker, moodier side of the music they play.

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For the uninitiated, dub music is a subgenre that grew out of reggae music in the 1960s. Pioneers like King Tubby would remix popular reggae songs emphasizing the bass and drums as well as using lots of delay, echo and other effects. They would insert vocal and instrumental snippets from the original track, a technique called dubbing. The result is groovy and other-worldly. The sound of dub is both retro and futuristic, organic and spacey.

Its influence is heard in modern music across many genres.

Benedetti put it this way, “Dub contains a lot of what I love in music. There is heavy drum and bass, it can be swirling and psychedelic or it can be real raw. Tags and melodies float in and out. With DA we try to take it to another place with improvisation and different tonalities. It’s a heavy sonic experience.”

They are playing a ton of music festivals this summer including the Real Cape Music Festival at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds on August 2.

The Beach House is a good place to get acquainted with them in an intimate environment with a great sound and light system.

They name The Beachcomber in Wellfleet and The Beach House as their favorite Cape venues to play at, and credit Beach House owner Pat Bonzani as being a longtime supporter.

This Saturday come to The Beach House in North Falmouth and join Dub Apocalypse on a sonic journey that started in the islands of the Caribbean and is reaching for the stars with deep roots and spacey grooves. The Apocalypse is coming and it sounds good.

For more information, check out www.facebook.com/groups/129720050436434/.

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